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WSA host UCL and NGO partners from Uganda in Cardiff collaborative workshop

23 May 2022

UCL and NGO partners from Uganda at the Welsh School of Architecture
Colleagues from UCL and NGO partners from Uganda at the Welsh School of Architecture

The Welsh School of Architecture recently hosted a collaborative workshop for the Development Planning Unit (DPU) at University College London (UCL) along with six NGO partners from Uganda and the UK to understand the development industry in Kampala, Uganda.

The workshop took place between 1-7th May and was an opportunity for participants to develop an un­derstanding of the development industry in the context of a developing country (Kampala, Uganda in particular) through direct engagement with practices and stakeholders in devel­opment. The main objective of the workshop was to equip participants with the analytical, methodological, and practical expertise necessary to acquire a critical understanding of development practices and make positive contributions to the development effort in countries with which they are or will be actively involved. As part of the practice-oriented engagement, participants explored various thematic areas related to affordable housing, early educa­tion, sustainable human settlements, climate change, and natural resource management.

Themes paired to specific NGOs were as follows:

  • Smart and Inclusive cities through improved social service for Urban poor with Community Integrated Development Initiatives (CIDI)
  • Climate Change and Urbanization with ACTogether
  • Responsive human settlement policies, laws and programs with (Shelter and Settlement Alternatives (SSA)
  • Community-led affordable housing initiatives with Uganda Housing Cooperative Union (UHOCU)
  • Quality Early Education with CALM-Africa
  • Resource Recovery and Waste Recycling with Kasubi Parish Local Community Develop­ment Initiative (KALOCODE)

During the workshop, Prof. Juliet Davis (Head of School, Welsh School of Architecture) delivered a lecture on ‘Caring Cities’ and Prof. Mhairi McVicar (Professor Welsh School of Architecture and Leader of Community Gateway) gave a lecture on engagement project Community Gateway’s partnership with the Grangetown community in Cardiff and led a tour of the Grangetown area. Dr Shibu Raman (Lecturer in Architecture and Urbanism, Welsh School of Architecture) spoke about his ‘Liveable Urbanism’ design studio and also led a policy clinic. Workshop was supported by two PhD students from Cardiff University; Ms Weronika Tadrak (Welsh School of Architecture) and Ms Ying Liao (School of Geography and Planning)

The week ended with group presentations and a poster exhibition at the Welsh School of Architecture. Dr Raman produced a short video of the five day event which was screened on the final day:

WSA and UCL collaborative workshop film

Dr Shibu Raman, one of the organisers of the event, said:

“The workshop was a great success with everyone engaging intensely in the stakeholder engagement, policy workshop, site visits and other activities of the workshop. It was also a great opportunity for all of us to develop good links with NGO partners in Uganda and share our experiences. They all enjoyed Bute Buildings new facilities and praised the school for all the support we provided during the event. As a new initiative to foster a long term teaching and research partnership with Development Planning Unit at UCL, the success of this event was critical for both schools so that we can build on this in future years.”

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